Top 10 Quotes about Advocacy
Advocacy is when an individual or group supports and influences political, economic and social decisions. The goal of an advocate is to gain support in a certain environment to create change for the better. According to Culture & Creativity, it only takes 10 percent of a population holding a strong belief to persuade the remaining population to adopt that same belief. This means that with the right amount of support, help and a common goal to better the world, people all around the world can eventually live freely and equally.

Advocates have been contributing to the world’s success for centuries. While all of these advocates come from different backgrounds and places from all around the world, they all have one thing in common- a passion to change the world for the better. Below are the top 10 quotes about advocacy from powerful people and the short biographies of these people.

Top 10 Quotes about Advocacy

  1. “When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”- Malala Yousafzai. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani advocate and activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. In 2013, Malala and her father Ziauddin founded a campaign called the Malala Fund to win every girl’s right for 12 years of a free and safe education. Malala’s main focus is helping Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, countries in which most of the girls miss out on secondary education.
  2. “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”- Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was an African-American singer, poet, memoirist and civil rights advocate and activist. Angelou won three Grammy Awards for her spoken-word poetry. These accomplishments are a few of the many reasons she was nicknamed “people’s poet” and “the black woman’s poet laureate.” Angelou is most notable for her activism through her poetry and music that were mostly about the themes such as women, love, loss, struggle, discrimination and racism.
  3. “Millions of people in the world’s poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved, and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free.”- Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was a South African anti-apartheid political leader and philanthropist. Throughout his lifetime, Mandela remained a devoted advocate and activist for social justice and peace until his death in 2013.
  4. “No voice is too soft when that voice speaks for others.”- Janna Cachola. Janna Cachola is an actress and singer from New Zealand. Cachola made her debut in cult horror film Bella Bandida (2012) and Bad Romance (2014).
  5. “Advocacy groups and voters are not wrong to push candidates to declare their position clearly on policy issues. That is good citizenship. Hard questions should be asked of every candidate, every politician. And those public servants should be prepared to answer, but in their own words.”- Mark McKinnon. Mark McKinnon is an American political advisor, a reform advocate, media columnist and television producer. McKinnon is currently working on his show “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth”, which shows the daily chaos of the White House with behind-the-scenes access.
  6. “All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.”- Samantha Power. Samantha Power served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, Power was a Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Council. During her time in office, Power’s team focused on issues regarding refugees, human rights and democracy in the U.S., Middle East, North Africa, Sudan and Myanmar. In 2016, Forbes listed her as the 41st most powerful woman in the world.
  7. “Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscious, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”- Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to advancing civil rights and bringing people of different backgrounds together through his advocacy and activism. King is known as one of the most significant people of the American civil rights movement.
  8. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian activist and leader of the Indian independence movement. Mahatma Gandhi advocated for the freedom and civil rights of the Indian people. Throughout his lifetime, he constantly addressed issues such as poverty and discrimination through protests and meetings with officials. He also built a lot of schools and hospitals.
  9. “Every important change in our society, for the good, at least, has taken place because of popular pressure-pressure from below, from the great mass of people.”- Edward Abbey. Edward Abbey was an American author and essayist remarkably known for his advocacy of environmental issues, public land policies and anarchist political views. Abbey was known for writing about the world and the effects of civilization on American land.
  10. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”- Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad and he led slaves to freedom before the Civil War. Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery, is one of the most notable women in American history for her courage and advocacy of women’s rights.

To be an advocate is to have courage, independence and passion for the things that matter. These top 10 quotes about advocacy provide a glance at the passion these people had and have for their society and the future of the people. As the good saying goes: “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

– Kristen Uedoi

Photo: Flickr

EducationIn the Arabic language, the word ‘hidaya‘ means “to lead and to guide.” This is a central theme of the Hidaya foundation as it seeks to perpetually guide orphans and disadvantaged individuals to an educated life.

Since its official launch in 1999, the Hidaya Foundation has participated in solutions to a wide range of global issues: making potable water accessible, planting trees, helping individuals create small businesses and more. The foundation also addresses public health issues through a dissemination of healthcare programs and medical camps to regions where treatments are difficult to obtain or simply not to be found.

Though it participates in many facets of humanitarian work, the principal aim of the Hidaya Foundation is to create educational opportunities in remote and impoverished areas. However, Hidaya’s founder, Waseem Baloch has pointed out that the promotion of education by itself in impoverished regions can be futile without other methods of support. “We realized that when people don’t even have one proper meal, how can they worry about education? Hence we support social welfare and health care as well.” Baloch said.

The Hidaya Foundation achieves its objectives by providing subsidies for orphans, operating and maintaining schools, funding education for impoverished individuals and even providing education courses to adults. In addition, the organization diverts at least half of its resources towards projects that center around agriculture, farming, science and technology.

The “No Orphan Without Education” project provides food, medicine, water and other commodities to ensure that the orphan has to worry about only his or her schooling. The foundation removes all obstacles that could impede the educational progress of involved orphans, and simply requires that the orphan is continuously attending school. All these services are provided based on need with a cost to the foundation of $10 per month for each orphan.

Impoverished students, from primary education to university levels, are able to receive support from the foundation to continue their education. The foundation is currently offering support to over 11,000 individuals. Support comes in the form of tuition fees, school supplies, housing costs etc. The foundation is able to support these students with anything from $5 to $50 a month depending on individual circumstances.

Through funds that are largely received from individual donors, hundreds of thousands of dollars are provided monthly to the Hidaya Foundation’s various humanitarian programs across Africa, Asia, and North America.

Financial support for the foundation has grown exponentially since 1999. In that year the organization fell just short of $112,000 in donations. Six years later, the foundation had raised over $4 million in support of its cause. This rapid growth has given the foundation the ability to begin hiring employees overseas and to develop teams that can respond efficiently to natural disasters when they strike.

Aamir Malik, the foundation’s IT and Advertising Director, and a long-time volunteer for the organization, commented on the rapid success of the foundation, “Donations have increased because Hidaya Foundation has been able to make an impact as it is quick to respond to calamities. Hidaya Foundation always backs up its work by updating the public about what it’s doing.”

The associates of the Hidaya Foundation are very optimistic about the future of the organization. They have confidence that the growth they have experienced will continue, and that they will be able to replicate their efforts in many more locations throughout the world.

Preston Rust

Photo: Flickr

The best way to lean about humanitarian work is to participate in it. But for those who are still getting their feet wet or are unsure where they fit in, the following books are must-reads to offer inspiration and possibly get your blood burning enough to climb on board whole-heartedly.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
By Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the book follows its authors’ belief that individual stories are more powerful for calling people to action than statistics. The book is set up in two parts, where the first half is a series of essays recounting Kristof and WuDunn’s research regarding the oppression of women in (mostly) the developing countries of the world, and the second is a call for action – complete with steps to be taken and records of what is already being done.

Humanitarian Alert: NGO Information and Its Impact on US Foreign Policy
By Abby Stoddard

Stoddard writes a convincing account of how NGOs, even those unfunded in the country of action, have the power to effect local state policy. Her book compares the negative and positive aspects of NGOs, sifting through to determine an estimation of usefulness. Humanitarian Alert promises “[a]n array of sources, from embassy telegrams to interviews with state and non-state actors, creat[ing] a compelling picture of how narratives and numbers in humanitarian crises help or hinder response.”

Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty
By Roger Thurow & Scott Kilman

Written by two former Wall Street Journal reporters, Enough asks how it can be that there are people starving when we possess the tools and technology to feed everyone. With research and personal accounts from all over the world this book will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how people are fed in the world today.

An Imperfect Offering
By James Orbinski

The memoir of the man who has become one of the world’s foremost humanitarian doctors, the book recounts the suffering and dispassion left unchallenged in the world today and carries Orbinski’s belief in “the good we can be if we so choose.” The Observer writes, “A lesser man could have capitulated. Not so Orbinski, for whom, one feels, celebrity of any kind is far less interesting than the central question with which he struggles in this compelling book: ‘How are we to be in relation to the suffering of others?’”

In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid
By Caroline Abu-Sada

The misconceptions about aid held by those who benefit from it can be baffling. By divulging many of these false beliefs, Abu-Sada alerts humanitarian aid groups from all over the world to improve the way they promote themselves to those they are trying to help. The misconceptions of those in crisis and the developing world can greatly hinder the work for groups such as Doctors Without Borders and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), but In the Eyes of Others Abu-Sada explains how best to avoid common confusion and promote the true purpose of an organization in ways that will be positively received by foreign communities.

Whether any one of these listed books suggests your true calling, they each have a lot to teach us about how foreign policy and aid are received by, and influence, those they are meant to help.

-Lydia Caswell

Sources: Farming First, Amazon, The Guardian
Photo: Innovation Story

Care about what? Care about ending global poverty. CARE is an organization that works with other businesses, schools, communities, and more to help extract people from the condition of poverty. They have main office headquarters in Atlanta, as well as an office in each of the 84 countries in which they work.

The U.S. government, European Union and United Nations help support CARE financially as well as individual donations from over 100,000 people each year. CARE works to help young girls and women become self sufficient, sustain business opportunities and escape a life of severe poverty.

All of the financial records of CARE’s use of donations and resources are available online for public viewing. A huge reason why CARE is such a great organization in terms of aid and effectiveness is that they enhance local economies whenever possible.

Instead of accepting clothes or tangible items from donors, they attempt to buy these supplies locally to help the countries they are working with. When recruiting people to help execute programs and fundraising events, the CARE staff also tries to hire locally from residents of the nations in which they are currently holding the events.

The focus on women and girls stems from the impact that gender inequality has on the cycle of poverty. More often than not, men are afforded jobs and opportunities for education and a better future through manual labor or schooling that women are not. Denying females career options and land ownership as well as many other civil rights only serves to perpetuate the timeline of poverty. A population cannot be pulled from such bleak conditions if the men are the only ones with the ability to break free.

The CARE website is designed with excellence and provides tons of information on how the organization works, as well as how and when people can participate. One section brings viewers to learn more about the history, founders, and partnership network of CARE, while other sections promote newsworthy stories of people whose lives have been changed for the better. Links are provided to financial records, success stories, and the CARE Twitter feed.

The most recent twitter campaign was called #IamCourage and encouraged people to tweet their personally courageous photos to the CARE Twitter feed, @Care. Another recent campaign involves getting supplies to the south of Sudan before aid is blocked by the rain season and planes can no longer deliver food, clothes, or medicine due to the poor visibility conditions.

The country is in desperate need of help and the UN has been trying to generate contributions because they are concerned about a possible severe food shortage in Sudan next year. CARE helps not only the residents of nations in need, but other organizations who are also trying to help. They work to inspire others to not only care about saving people from global poverty but to actually take action and do something about it.

– Kaitlin Sutherby

Sources: CARE, Twitter, UN South Sudan, UN in South Sudan
Photo: Primary Care UK

poverty in armenia
Landlocked between Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and Pakistan, the country of Armenia has faced economic hardships since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Between 1989 and 1999, warfare with Azerbaijan and tensions with Turkey have led both countries to impose economic blockades against Armenia; an international settlement has yet to happen. The country’s main source of trade occurs across the border shared with Georgia and into Russia.

Despite some growth and improvements from bilateral humanitarian efforts, Armenia faces several economic and food security challenges. Though Armenia’s gross domestic product growth rates have reached double digits in recent years, this is largely attributed to the widening of the poor-rich gap and the uneven distribution of wealth. Areas of poverty in Armenia are concentrated in rural areas and the country’s borders. Harsh winters, infertile and highly elevated lands and a lack of agricultural diversity have hampered Armenia’s goal of achieving economic sustainability.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports that levels of poverty in Armenia have halved from 56.1 percent in 1999 to 23.5 percent in 2008. Though promising, the hard fact is that about 48 percent of the country’s population was below the poverty line of $2 per day in 2008. In 2006, a severe lack of funding forced the World Food Programme to cease its food aid operations in Armenia. Already dire conditions for the country’s most vulnerable people worsened.

Several organizations have since taken up the task of aiding Armenia’s long-term development. USAID is the leading donor agency in Armenia, focusing operations on diversifying Armenia’s economy and agriculture, rebuilding infrastructures, fueling education and bolstering Armenia’s economic competitiveness.

In addition, USAID has partnered with several inter-World Bank and IFC Armenian initiatives to provide extensive technical assistance as well as monetary aid to the bolstering of water safety, road construction and the modernization of healthcare and the public sector.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has focused on increasing investments by $2.5 million to improving food safety measures of Armenian meat factories; improving food safety practices to international standards would bolster future international trade potentialities and competitiveness. The IFC has invested $271.5 million in the country over 44 projects spanning several diverse sectors.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is also supporting the Armenian Government in the improvement of food safety; methods involving training government assessment personal and educating rural farmers. The World Bank has invested $1.746 million to dozens of projects in Armenia, focusing on job creation and again economical competitiveness. The World Bank has since renewed its partnership with the Republic of Armenia for 2014 to 2017, paying particular attention to rapidly reducing both urban and rural poverty.

Armenia is one of the international success stories of multi-lateral humanitarianism. The country that crumbled economically two decades ago has seen vast improvements and is on its way to economical sustainability and independence, but only as a result of international collaboration and investments.

– Malika Gumpangkum

Sources: Action Against Hunger, World Food Programme, World Bank, The Armenian Weekly, World Bank, World Food Programme, World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, USAID, USAID
Photo: Ararat Magazine